The organization of police forces is very important in determining the effectiveness of the police. Leaders in police departments will play a vital role in ensuring that not only the organization of the forces exists but also that the forces are effective. The effectiveness of the police organization can be determined through a variety of measures, among them the impact and the extent of service delivered to citizens. Area, time, and purpose will be the key concepts one should have in mind while organizing a police department. The organization of the police forces must revolve around who is going to do what, where, and when. One of the important aspects that will never be left out when considering the organization of the police department is the available resources since they determine what number of officers to hire, and the extent of expertise and technology. Various units may be contained within a police force, including the Domestic Violence Unit, patrol division among others (NPD, 2010). Different departments may perform different roles (Iowa City Gov, 2010)
The area served by a police department is a vital consideration because of activities such as patrolling and scheduling of police officers. In addition, the number of policemen responsible for a particular area determines the effectiveness of the police in that area. In addition, the area served by police may determine the number of divisions. The number of divisions may be many as the area increases. A geographic area may consist of a collection of beats and sectors, termed as a precinct. Various cities and departments have different sizes and therefore, the number of the precinct may differ. A huge location as compared to the number of police forces responsible for that area may cause the police force to strain and be ineffective. Problems such as stress may be realized and thus causing such impacts as brutality among other things. Ineffectiveness occurs when, for example, the area they serve is too large that the police force takes long to respond to the needs of the community such as during emergency calls. In addition, it would be difficult to manage police organizations over a wide geographical area. A small area allows the police officers to familiarize themselves and become more used to the area they are patrolling, and thus increasing efficiency. The result of a manageable area is proper and effective communication between the society and the police department.
The aspect of time is very important as far as policing is concerned. Time captures scheduling of tours, managing the days the officers are off, as well as planning the activities supposed to be accomplished such as emergency response. A police department may either operate in a three tour system where the twenty-four-hour day is split into eight-hour watches or steady or fixed tours. Three tour system is the widely most applied because it allows a police officer to work in shifts.
The purpose of the police department is a very vital consideration in the organization of the police. The organization of the police forces can be done in consideration of the purpose they are supposed to accomplish. The accomplishment of the organization’s objectives is tied to the purpose and functions of the police force. Police departments may form unions such as the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) to achieve common goals (NAPO, 2010). Two types of functions may be considered in this case; line and staff. This focuses on the organization of police departments according to units. The importance of the responsibility of the police officers lies in the enforcement of laws, maintenance of law and order, as well as assisting the population. Therefore, the organization of the police must revolve around the purposes that the police officers should accomplish.
Iowa City Government. (2010). Police department organization. Web.
National Police Department. (2010). Normal police department: Organizational chart. Web.
National Association Police Organizations. (2010). Welcome to NAPO. Web.